I just finished reading How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid by Julie Lythcott-Haims, and it was amazing. It's like it was written personally for me. I suffer from so many of the neuroses and overparenting tendencies the author outlines in the book (as did she), and I feel like I'm now on the first step towards my recovery after reading it.
Julie was my freshman dean at Stanford, and I'll always remember how she unified our class in our now-infamous "OHHHHH-SIX" (i.e., class of 2006) chant. It's interesting for me to see the journey that she's been in on since being dean at Stanford to where she is now as a parent and educator.
This book reminded me a lot of The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey, which I had read previously and also really enjoyed. That one focused a lot on academics and chores and was also really eye-opening.
The first half of the book talks about the problems and pitfalls of the overparenting tendency and the psychological harm to kids and parents. It sets a really persuasive stage on which the second half of the book responds with more practical solutions (down the words to use) to solve each part of the problem.
I really liked the sample scripts in this book for responding to kids and to fellow parents in difficult situations. I also really liked the lists of skills/abilities/chores/tasks that are appropriate for each approximate age as well as how to speak with kids and "continually question" in different ways as kids get older. There were also very good references in the book, both of other thought-leaders to follow online as well as other books to read. It's clear the author really did her homework and worked to build on top of a lot that has been written before on similar topics.
Now I'm really excited to see how I can put a lot of these ideas into practice and am trying to find and connect with other like-minded recovering "overparents."
My full notes and takeaways on the book are below.
I finally just finished reading Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. He's one of my favorite writers, but I got way behind on his books (he now has 2 more new ones that I can't wait to read!).
I really enjoyed this book, and it was a refreshing reminder of all the ways our ego can cause us to screw up, even (or maybe especially) while we're "succeeding."
It was a short, pleasant read, and each chapter had a main, easily digestible lesson that was illustrated with stories of historical figures.
I'm a big fan of the way Ryan can distill so much information (books, quotes, history, movies, etc.) into concrete, actionable lessons. I had interviewed Ryan for Authors@Google a while ago for his previous book The Obstacle is the Way, which I also really enjoyed.
My biggest takeaways were around humility, "alive time vs. dead time," and maintaining focus on one's work (instead of others' opinions or external factors). My full notes on the book are below.
I first heard about Jocko from Tim Ferriss's podcast episode with him. I just finished reading his first book and really liked it: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink.
In some ways it reminded me of No Easy Day by Mark Owen, which I had read a while ago, also about lessons learned by a Navy SEAL, though Jocko's is much more about the application of the lessons to leadership in general and business.
The book was well written and had lots of great examples of its ideas, both on the combat side and the business side. Many of his ideas resonated a lot with me: extreme ownership, admitting blame, and taking responsibility for everything that happens in your world/department/group, and how that attitude trickles down and up around you to affect everyone. I see counterexamples of this all the time, and I like Jocko's no-excuses approach to this.
The example from the intro really hit home with me: swapping the leaders of the best and worst performing teams in a competition completely reversed their performance. Leadership matters.
I also never knew there was so much process, paperwork, and PowerPoint in the military. And I see how that illustrates his idea of "leading up" the chain of command and how discipline around process creates freedom.
This was a really great book and very inspiring. I definitely look forward to checking out his other books.
My main notes and takeaways are below.